Once upon a time, a long time ago, a couple lived in Phoenix, Arizona for almost a year before ever seeing the Grand Canyon. Matter of fact, it took a visit from a family member from back east to get them to go, even then.
Why – because they were close to it. How special could it be? It was practically in their back yard – and nothing special is ever in our back yard, right? Anyone who’s ever traveled to see this great natural wonder can attest to the fact that it is pretty darned special. We almost missed it, because it was too easy.
I think this “it’s too easy, so it can’t be special” feeling creeps into the way many of us view the arts. We are suspicious of works that come from our neighbors. We look for art created by artists – you know, folks we don’t know. Hold on! Where do you think artists live? Artists have neighbors, so that means they ARE neighbors.
As we wake up to the joyful realization that we live amongst fabulously gifted artists, craftsmen, performers, chefs, and more, and support our local talent, we assure ourselves of the availability of a wide variety of superior goods and services. We have a direct hand in what our community looks like and how we enjoy it.
When you think about art, dance, music, craft, artisanal goods, fine food and drink, think about your neighbors. Find out what’s available around the corner. Don’t assume you must travel to procure wonderful works from someone else’s neighbors; see what goodness comes from your own.
There’s no place like home. Don’t let familiarity blind you to its charm, diversity, and surprises. Love thy arty neighbor.
p.s. Here are a few places my neighbors can find out about wonderful local works of art. They will lead you to others!
Village Artisans Gallery www.villageartisansgallery.com/
Carlisle Arts Learning Center www.carlislearts.org